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Wednesday23 August 2017

Urbed wins Garden Cities Wolfson Prize

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Winner claims £250,000 top prize

David Rudlin of urban design and research consultancy Urbed has won the £250,000 Wolfson Economics Prize for his garden city proposal.

His submission argued for the near-doubling of up to 40 existing large towns, including, Northampton, Norwich, Oxford, Rugby, Reading and Stafford, to provide new homes for 150,000 people per town, built over 30-35 years.

His entry imagines a fictional town called Uxcester to develop the concept and says that expansion of existing towns is the best way to accommodate growth, regenerate town centres and protect countryside and the setting of surrounding villages.

 

 

Urbed's Uxcester garden city plan

Urbed’s Uxcester garden city plan

Rudlin said a Garden Cities Act should be introduced by the next government to enable existing towns and cities to bid for garden city status that will enable hem to double in size.

Urbed pipped a team featuring homeless charity Shelter and PRP which was given a £50,000 second prize – up from the original £10,000 – to reflect the closeness of the competition.

The three remaining teams – Barton Willmore, London-based masterplanner Wei Yang & Partners and Chris Blundell, the director of regeneration at Golding Homes – all receive £10,000.

simon wolfson

 

Prize founder Simon Wolfson (pictured), who is also chief executive of the fashion retailer Next, said: “David’s entry is a tour de force of economic and financial analysis, creative thinking and bold, daring ideas. I congratulate him and his team on a fantastic contribution to the debate on how we can deliver great new places for future generations to live, work and play in.”

An exhibition about this year’s prize will be held at the Building Centre and will run from September 4-29.

 

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Readers' comments (1)

  • This is a great idea! The skeleton is there already, and the people in place, it just needs more umph and houses for young and old to make a more balanced community. The planning authority has to step up, be more flexible and faster so developers aren't put off before the next recession! These towns have found their own location and space, and are full of people who just want to make them more exciting and look to the future rather than their often Victorian past. I know Reading well, and I'm sure it will welcome this new impetus.

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